Sunday, June 14, 2009

less frequent posting

1. It's hot. Oh dear lord is it hot. We are having the type of weather typical of late July in mid-June. And it doesn't look like it's going to get better.

You know how Churchill (and also James Lileks, copying him) talked about the "black dog"? I get one in the summer. I am sure it is the heat, the humidity, and also the feeling of being trapped indoors by the same. I can feel that black dog whuffling at my heels, its damp smelly breath on the back of my legs.

Have you ever felt irritable and KNEW you were irritable? And knew that meant you had to make an extra effort to be agreeable? And been irritated by that? That's how I was today. Oh, I was nice - I didn't snarl at anyone at church or anything - but I could tell that EVERYTHING was annoying me - certain people's odd patterns of speech, the way one of my ceiling fans squeaks, the ants that have invaded my bathroom - everything.

2. Summer classes are tough. I always forget how hard I work for these. (Maybe it's like they say about childbirth - you forget how much it hurts so you're willing to do it again?). I have the added challenge that I have a blind student this year (fortunately it's in the non-majors class so I don't have to concern myself about lab exercises and just what do you do when you're working with a microscope and you have someone who can't USE a microscope?). I do, however, have to have all handouts ready a day in advance so I can send them over to the office that Brailletizes them for my student. I'm happy to do it, but it's another thing to remember and plan for.

3. I have an unprecedented number of people in my summer class having emergencies causing them to miss class. So far: student having staples removed following a surgery earlier this spring (and the doctor FORGOT one of the freakin' staples so she's gonna have to go back), someone having to testify in court, someone with a family reunion, someone with a sick child, someone having to take a grandmother to the never stops. I try to be compassionate because nothing is really the person's fault...but it makes things harder, it puts an added burden on me to arrange for make-up labs or tests to be taken at alternate times or something.

4. Along with the heat-and-humidity induced "lowness," I have this awful feeling of dread. Something bad feels like it's going to happen. Something bad in Iran, or in the Korean peninsula. I actually said yesterday morning, upon hearing of the little crazy guy in North Korea (I can never remember his name) talking about a nuclear war starting: "OK. If the world is going to end this year, can it please end NOW instead of at the end of the summer so I will at least not have to put up with so much heat?"

Or, as another blogger commented, on the home front: I feel as if this summer is going to be the last summer I get to enjoy certain things. Like the last year I'll be permitted to eat ice cream sundaes. Or go out for a drive in my car "just because." Or run the air conditioning at a temperature that is comfortable for me. Or read whatever I want on the internet. Or something. (And then of course we are exhorted to fly the flag and say the pledge of allegiance as a symbol of our freedom. Well, I'll fly it and say it but not because YOU told me to. I'll fly it and say it 'cos there are men and women out there with enough guts to sign up for the military to go and protect the rest of us, 'cos there were people in the past who figured out how to make this country work...)

So I don't know. I can't tell how much of my feeling of impending doom is just my usual summer dysphoria, or how much I'm connecting dots that don't need to be connected, or what.

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